What are the benefits (or drawbacks) of taking a steam bath?
Listed below are some of the most important therapeutic benefits that a steam rooms bath can provide.
1. Promotes relaxation and improves sleep
Stress is a part of our daily life and it can lead to nervousness, muscle tension, high blood pressure, headaches, and cardiovascular problems.
Steam rooms can relieve stress, calm tense nerves and relax muscles. They are usually small and they provide a calming atmosphere for the body and mind.
Steam rooms can also be beneficial for people who have sleeping problems. If done two hours before going to sleep and for no longer than 20 minutes, a steam treatment can help with insomnia and encourage a good night’s sleep. The heat and the steam can relieve tight muscles and allow your body to relax and fall asleep more easily.
But steam can also provide significant pain relief to those who suffer from tension headaches. It can de-stress and promote a feeling of relaxation, while helping headaches.
2. Relieves muscle stiffness and pain
The heat of the steam can help relax tight, sore muscles.
The hot steam dilates blood vessels, improves circulation and increases blood flow to the muscles. This allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the areas where they are needed, which in turn helps loosen tight muscles and reduce pain.
The steam therapy can also help get rid of the lactic acid build-up in your muscles and thereby reduce soreness.
Steam rooms are often used after intense workouts to help relax tired and painful muscles. According to a 2001 article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20 minutes of moist heat is significantly more effective than 30 seconds of static stretching.
3. Reduces rheumatoid arthritis pain
The moist heat of a steam room is a natural pain reliever. It penetrates tendons and joints and reduces inflammation that causes pain.
By reducing the build-up of lactic acid, steam also helps reduce friction in your joints, making it easier for your body to move.
4. Detoxifies the body and improves the immune system
Steam rooms can help expel toxins and waste products that have built up in the body due to stress, bad eating habits, poor digestion, and other external factors.
Hot steam induces a state of hypothermia in the body, which is a very high fever that is usually created artificially for therapeutic purposes. When your body reaches the ambient temperature of the steam room, or 101 degrees Fahrenheit, it has an artificial fever. Viruses, bacteria, and other toxins accumulated in your body can not survive at such high temperatures.
The heat of the steam opens up approximately 2.6 million sweat glands located under your skin, which allows you to flush out 30 percent of bodily waste through perspiration, during a single steam room session.
Whether naturally or artificially induced, fevers also encourage your body to produce more white blood cells, which have the ability to fight infections by attacking and destroying harmful organisms like bacteria and viruses. They are the most important part of your immune system.
Steam therapy is therefore a highly effective way to cleanse your body and increase your immunity naturally and without invasive treatments.
5. Improves breathing and relieves colds and flues
Steam can provide immediate relief from cold symptoms. It can moisten a sore throat, loosen phlegm in the lungs and dissolve mucous in the nose.
Steam inhalation improves the respiratory system and it is very useful for people suffering from asthma, allergies, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
6. Benefits of Steam Therapy for Skin and Hair
Apart from having many positive health effects, steam therapy can also greatly benefit your skin and hair.
7. Steam rejuvenates your skin and improves its texture and tone
Improving your skin’s health is another purpose of steam rooms. Steam therapy is a natural alternative to expensive chemical treatments and it can be useful for several skin conditions.
Steam opens up your pores, allows toxins to be flushed out, and thereby deeply cleanses your skin. It washes out deep dirt and impurities and prevents the appearance of acne and pimples.
The moist heat also stimulates blood circulation to the skin surface, removes dead skin cells, and hydrates the pores. This adds shine and glow to your skin, making it look younger, softer, and healthier.
8. Steam promotes healthy hair and scalp
Steam opens up clogged pores and deeply cleanses and hydrates the scalp, while promoting healthy hair growth.
It increases blood flow to the scalp, improves hair elasticity, and helps control the sebum production.
Steam also helps open the hair cuticle, allowing conditioners and moisturizing products to deeply penetrate the shaft of your hair strands.